Text: I John 4:16b:
“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”
Scripture Reading: I John 4:13-21
The Johannine affirmation that “God is love,” is, I think, the highest and purest affirmation of God we can proclaim. It declares something basic and essential about the nature and purposes of God. God’s nature is not just an anthropomorphic extension of our own human nature.
God is love.
God creates love.
God initiates love.
God extends love.
According to Tertullian, an early 2nd century Christian writer, non-Christians in that time were amazed at the growth of the Christian movement but even more so by the love they demonstrated for one another. Tertullian even recorded one Roman as having said, “See how these Christians love one another!”
It is difficult to love as Jesus loved. There’s no getting around it. He loved the unloveable – the tax collectors, and the bigots, the religious right and religious left, and those that didn’t have religion. He didn’t discriminate. Jesus gave people second chances. He helped them to see another path for their lives. He showed them that spark of God within and invited them to let it grow. He showered people with a forgiveness that turned their lives around.
Jesus spread his arms wide and opened his heart to every person he encountered. His welcome was for everyone. There were no lines drawn, no boundaries, no entrance exams. The love of God was for everyone.
Perhaps during this time of world pandemic, we need to share this kind of love with others more than ever! After all, it is a Godly thing to do!
O God of Love, help us to accept your limitless love for ourselves today, and then share your love, and our love, with others. Amen.
Focus for the Day: Today I will live in the shelter of God’s promised love for me and for all.
Author: Rev. Bob Livingston